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Do I Need A Building Inspection Before Settlement?

To some it may seem obvious that a building inspection before settlement is a good idea. But not everyone is across property transactions well, and we’re here to give good advice. With that in mind, this week we spoke with Adam Baines from Detail Building Inspections. We put some questions on him about building inspections and how they relate to settlement.

Q: Why is it important to have a pest and building inspection done before settlement?

Inspections are very important as they can help you get to know the property in more detail. On average the time in a property at an inspection with an agent can vary between 30 and 45 minutes, not necessarily looking at the building, more so the cosmetics and how you can see yourself living in the property. Where as an inspector doesn’t look at how you will fit into the property, but instead the quality of the home that you are about to make a huge financial investment in.

An inspection can also give you more negotiating power, sometimes the owner themselves may not be aware of any issues, so if issues are detected you can then negotiate to have the works completed prior to settlement or the purchase price varied.

They are also important to help with detecting termite activity and providing conditions that could be varied to improve the likeliness of being an issue e.g. pathway heights, water pooling, garden beds next to the dwelling or timber sleepers used in the garden / paths etc.

And another reason is that it will give you some background on the type of property and what is typical for that style of home e.g. a 1925 bungalow is going to have issues that a newly built home won’t, but due to the style they are standard and then can be monitored and understood better.

Q: The house is relatively new, do I still need a building inspection?

Short answer .. absolutely!!

A building inspection is more important now than ever as there are a lot more building standards and as seen in the news, a lot of builders are struggling financially so the standards of some may not be as high. There’s a lot more “Lightweight construction” homes which can result in minor issues becoming major issues and in a quicker period of time than the older more solid style of homes.

It is also important to understand that with so many different trades involved in a build, some don’t realise the effect that their work may have on trades coming in after them.

Q: What are the common issues that are found during an inspection?

This list can vary obviously depending on the age and style of home being inspection, but some of the more common issues include:

–           Rising damp
–           Termite damage (current and previous)
–           Leaking showers
–           Roof leaks
–           Footing failures
–           Stormwater drains not connected

Q: How long does an inspection take to do?

On average a building inspection can take 1.5 to 2 hours, however a building inspection with a pest inspection may take between 2 to 2.5 hours. Again this will vary depending on the property .. size, style etc. That having said the more defects that are found the longer the inspection can take as well.

Once the inspection is completed, the reports are emailed to the client on the same day and can then be discussed over the phone.

There’s a great quote on the Detail Building Inspection website which says… “Before comparing the inspection prices, compare building inspectors. There is no legal protection for you as a property buyer.”

If you’d like any more info on building inspections, settlements, or anything else related to a property transaction, drop us a line here. Or, call us on 8261 5092.